Daniel Desparois (left), Frédéric Nadeau and Yves Simard stay on their toes in Ghosts And Ladders.
GHOSTS AND LADDERS (DynamO Théâtre with Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People). To October 11. 416-862-2222. See Continuing. Rating: NNN
Known for its acrobatics, DynamO Théâtre has sometimes put an exuberant physicality ahead of narrative and emotion.
In Ghosts And Ladders, the focus is on feelings and story, and the result is a touching tale about how family secrets can eat away at the bond between siblings.
Two sibs (Yves Simard and Frédéric Nadeau) argue about whether to tell their kid brother (Daniel Desparois) about a hidden incident in their family's past. It takes a ghostly visitation to reveal the truth to the youngest and also dispel his fear of taking part in his brothers' playful antics.
That playfulness involves some impressive balancing on and juggling of a series of different-sized ladders, which the company turns into everything from a forest to train tracks to a maze, all strikingly lit by Luc Prairie.
But the gymnastics never detract from the story about growing up, which has a sweet sadness enhanced by Larissa Corriveau's evocatively melancholy accordion-playing.
Corriveau's narration also gives the family drama a frame based on the ugly duckling story. While Kim Selody's script, developed with director Jacqueline Gosselin, sometimes links the two narratives, the frame isn't necessary to give heart to the central tale about facing fear and discovering self-confidence.